Steve Montador was a physical defenseman during his 10-year NHL career, and three of his 67 fights were against Ian Laperriere.

They fought in February 2003 when Montador was with the Calgary Flames and Laperriere was playing for the Los Angeles Kings, then fought again in February 2007 and January 2008 when Montador was with the Florida Panthers and Laperriere with the Colorado Avalanche.

Now an assistant coach for the Flyers, Laperriere sent out a tweet Sunday for Montador, who passed away earlier in the day, to rest in peace.

That’s the way it is in the NHL

There are fights during games, but off the ice everyone is one big family and the NHL world was saddened to hear about Montador, 35, being found dead early Sunday morning at his home in Mississauga, Ontario.

Montador played 571 NHL games for six teams — the Flames (2001-02 to 2005-06), Panthers (2005-06 to 2007-08), Anaheim Ducks (2008-09), Boston Bruins (2008-09), Buffalo Sabres (2009-10 to 2010-11) and Chicago Blackhawks (2011-12).

Along the way, he made a lot a lot of good friends, and, like Laperriere, several used Twitter to express their sadness … Ottawa Senators All-Star winger Bobby Ryan, Vancouver Canucks star goalie Ryan Miller and Canadian women’s star Hayley Wickenheiser included.

Here is some of the social media response to Montador’s passing:

Randy Miller may be reached at rmiller@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @RandyJMiller. Find NJ.com Philadelphia Sports on Facebook.

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